So... yesterday I posted a recipe for Homemade Tomato Soup. And you gotta have crackers with tomato soup, right?
This weekend I also tackled my first batch of homemade crackers. Crackers are one of those "bucket list" recipes for me that not everyone would think to make at home, but I really wanted to try them. I found my recipe on a favorite, one of the most informative sites ever- The Prudent Homemaker. This site is a wealth of information for making everything homemade and for all kinds of tips on how to save the hard to earned buck. I encourage everyone to hope over there and check it out!
I was very pleased with the crackers. They will be a terrific base recipe for adding all kinds of seasonings, oils, cheeses. I made Brandy's basic recipe and added my own twist on seasonings, a little salt, etc. They turned out GREAT! The key is to roll them absolutely as thinly as possible. Note that they don't rise so very little space is needed between crackers on the cookie sheet. Storage seems to be a key also. I find that storing the completely cooled, crisp crackers in glass jars or tins keeps them crispier. Of course, I didn't manage to get them as crispy as your favorite boxed saltine, and they are more like a pita chip in texture and that is perfectly fine with them. I know what's in them! That's the key!
(I might try to roll them in a pasta maker one of these days!)
One more item where I can "Ditch the Box"! Success!
I think the possibilities are endless. I think I will try using butter for the shortening or even olive oil. I think I will try blending in some parmesan cheese and cracked pepper or garlic powder. Also maybe taco seasonings or chicken bouillon?
My only advice for making this is that this recipe makes a ton of crackers. Halfing this recipe the first time seems like a wise choice so that you don't get burned out on cracker making.
Also, I think young children would have a ball cutting the crackers into shapes with cookie cutters- a fun activity that would produce a savory snack instead of sweets (cookies).
Here's how I made Homemade Crackers (Saltines) AT HOME MY WAY:
- 4 cups all purpose flour (a little more for rolling/cutting)
- 8 Tablespoons shortening (melted) (I plan on trying olive oil)
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (more for sprinkling)
- Optional (spices: I used 1 teaspoon onion powder)
In a mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Combine melted shortening (or oil) and water. Stir all ingredients together.
On a well floured surface, knead for 3-5 minutes.
Divide dough into six even pieces.
Roll each piece as THIN as possible! Cut and move pieces to a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.
Brush crackers on the cookie sheet with water (a spray bottle would work GREAT here) and sprinkle with more salt. I also pricked a few holes in my crackers with a fork to give them the "cracker look".
Bake in a fully preheated 400 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes. Make sure the crackers are just browning before removing them from the oven to insure crispiness.
Let them cool in the air, uncovered, until completely cold before storing them (glass works best).
Here are some pictures along the way!
Rolling & cutting.
Brushed with water and a few holes pricked.
Starting to brown in the oven. (The puff up a little.)